1997 Spanish Grand Prix

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Spain  1997 Spanish Grand Prix
Race details
Race 6 of 17 in the 1997 Formula One season
Catalunya Montmelo 1997.jpg
Date May 25, 1997
Location Circuit de Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain
Course Permanent racing facility
Course length 4.728 km (2.938 mi)
Distance 64 laps, 302.469 km (187.945 mi)
Scheduled Distance 65 laps, 307.196 km (190.883 mi)
Weather Clear
Pole position
Driver Williams-Renault
Time 1:16.525
Fastest lap
Driver Italy Giancarlo Fisichella Jordan-Peugeot
Time 1:22.242 on lap 20
Podium
First Williams-Renault
Second Prost-Mugen-Honda
Third Benetton-Renault

The 1997 Spanish Grand Prix was a Formula One race held on May 25, 1997 at the Circuit de Catalunya.

This classic Spanish Grand Prix[1] is memorable for the great performance of Olivier Panis, starting from 12th on the grid, and finishing 2nd closing on the leader Jacques Villeneuve by 1.5 to 2 seconds per lap at the end of the race.

Race Summary[edit]

Michael Schumacher got off to a great start; having started 7th, he ended the first lap in 2nd position, and was challenging Villeneuve (who was in the Williams) for the lead. However, Schumacher, in the spare Ferrari, was unable to stay with the leader and was starting to slow the cars behind him. By lap 13, the gap between him and Villeneuve was approximately 20 seconds, and a train of cars consisting to David Coulthard, Jean Alesi, Mika Häkkinen, Heinz-Harald Frentzen, and Johnny Herbert was behind him. His lap-times were approximately 1:26 while Villeneuve's was 1:22.

In this high tyre wearing race, especially for the Goodyear tyres,[2] the first pit stops started at approximately lap 14, with the final one being on lap 25, which was Olivier Panis, in his finely balanced Prost with Bridgestone tyres. Soon after, beginning from lap 29, three stop runners were starting to pit for the 2nd time. This enabled Panis to gain positions, and by lap 34, he was 4th, and closing on Alesi and Coulthard who were 2nd and 3rd respectively. Soon after, Panis overtook Coulthard, who was on inferior Goodyear tyres, in a fine move on the approach to turn 1. Panis managed to jump to 2nd place ahead of Alesi in the pits.

Panis was gaining on the leader, Villeneuve, taking approximately 1.5 seconds per lap off the leader. By the end of lap 49, the gap was 10.8 seconds, down on the 13 second gap at the end of lap 47. However, during lap 50, Panis was held up by traffic, firstly Ralf Schumacher's Jordan and then the Ferrari of Eddie Irvine. With marshalls not waving the blue flags,[2] Irvine failed to let Panis through, and thus allowing Jean Alesi and Michael Schumacher to catch him up. When Irvine finally yielded on lap 57, Panis's race was ruined, and the gap between him and Villeneuve was back up to 16.1 seconds. Irvine would later get a stop-go penalty for his actions. After Panis cleared the traffic, he was lapping 1.5 to 2 seconds faster than the leader and managed to close the gap to less than 6 seconds by the end of the race but it was too late and Villeneuve took his 3rd victory of the season.

This was Panis's final podium finish in Formula One. It was also a very rare occurrence of an all-French speaking podium.


Classification[edit]

Qualifying[edit]

Pos No Driver Constructor Time Gap
1 3 Canada Jacques Villeneuve Williams-Renault 1:16.525
2 4 Germany Heinz-Harald Frentzen Williams-Renault 1:16.791 +0.266
3 10 United Kingdom David Coulthard McLaren-Mercedes 1:17.521 +0.996
4 7 France Jean Alesi Benetton-Renault 1:17.717 +1.192
5 9 Finland Mika Häkkinen McLaren-Mercedes 1:17.737 +1.212
6 8 Austria Gerhard Berger Benetton-Renault 1:18.041 +1.516
7 5 Germany Michael Schumacher Ferrari 1:18.313 +1.788
8 12 Italy Giancarlo Fisichella Jordan-Peugeot 1:18.385 +1.860
9 11 Germany Ralf Schumacher Jordan-Peugeot 1:18.423 +1.898
10 16 United Kingdom Johnny Herbert Sauber-Petronas 1:18.494 +1.969
11 6 United Kingdom Eddie Irvine Ferrari 1:18.873 +2.348
12 14 France Olivier Panis Prost-Mugen-Honda 1:19.157 +2.632
13 17 Italy Gianni Morbidelli Sauber-Petronas 1:19.323 +2.798
14 19 Finland Mika Salo Tyrrell-Ford 1:20.079 +3.554
15 1 United Kingdom Damon Hill Arrows-Yamaha 1:20.089 +3.564
16 15 Japan Shinji Nakano Prost-Mugen-Honda 1:20.103 +3.578
17 22 Brazil Rubens Barrichello Stewart-Ford 1:20.255 +3.730
18 21 Italy Jarno Trulli Minardi-Hart 1:20.452 +3.927
19 18 Netherlands Jos Verstappen Tyrrell-Ford 1:20.582 +4.057
20 20 Japan Ukyo Katayama Minardi-Hart 1:20.672 +4.147
21 2 Brazil Pedro Diniz Arrows-Yamaha 1:21.029 +4.504
22 23 Denmark Jan Magnussen Stewart-Ford 1:21.060 +4.535

Race[edit]

[3]

Pos No Driver Constructor Laps Time/Retired Grid Points
1 3 Canada Jacques Villeneuve Williams-Renault 64 1:30:35.896 1 10
2 14 France Olivier Panis Prost-Mugen-Honda 64 +5.804 12 6
3 7 France Jean Alesi Benetton-Renault 64 +12.534 4 4
4 5 Germany Michael Schumacher Ferrari 64 +17.979 7 3
5 16 United Kingdom Johnny Herbert Sauber-Petronas 64 +27.986 10 2
6 10 United Kingdom David Coulthard McLaren-Mercedes 64 +29.744 3 1
7 9 Finland Mika Häkkinen McLaren-Mercedes 64 +48.785 5  
8 4 Germany Heinz-Harald Frentzen Williams-Renault 64 +1:04.139 2  
9 12 Italy Giancarlo Fisichella Jordan-Peugeot 64 +1:04.767 8  
10 8 Austria Gerhard Berger Benetton-Renault 64 +1:05.670 6  
11 18 Netherlands Jos Verstappen Tyrrell-Ford 63 +1 Lap 19  
12 6 United Kingdom Eddie Irvine Ferrari 63 +1 Lap 11  
13 23 Denmark Jan Magnussen Stewart-Ford 63 +1 Lap 22  
14 17 Italy Gianni Morbidelli Sauber-Petronas 62 +2 Laps 13  
15 21 Italy Jarno Trulli Minardi-Hart 62 +2 Laps 18  
Ret 2 Brazil Pedro Diniz Arrows-Yamaha 53 Engine 21  
Ret 11 Germany Ralf Schumacher Jordan-Peugeot 50 Engine 9  
Ret 22 Brazil Rubens Barrichello Stewart-Ford 37 Engine 17  
Ret 19 Finland Mika Salo Tyrrell-Ford 35 Puncture 14  
Ret 15 Japan Shinji Nakano Prost-Mugen-Honda 34 Gearbox 16  
Ret 1 United Kingdom Damon Hill Arrows-Yamaha 17 Engine 15  
Ret 20 Japan Ukyo Katayama Minardi-Hart 11 Gearbox 20  

Standings after Grand Prix[edit]

  • Note: Only the top five positions are included for both sets of standings.

References[edit]

  1. ^ BBC. "Classic Spanish GP". Archived from the original on 8 May 2009. Retrieved 7 May 2009. 
  2. ^ a b Murray Walker, Martin Brundle (Commentators) (1997). ITV F1 - Spanish Grand Prix (Television). Barcelona, Spain: ITV. 
  3. ^ Formula 1.com. "1997 Spanish Grand Prix". Archived from the original on 2009-05-11. Retrieved 2009-05-07. 


Previous race:
1997 Monaco Grand Prix
FIA Formula One World Championship
1997 season
Next race:
1997 Canadian Grand Prix
Previous race:
1996 Spanish Grand Prix
Spanish Grand Prix Next race:
1998 Spanish Grand Prix